Saturday, September 02, 2006

Neon Ride


Took the bike out this afternoon. I've been slacking on taking it to work, but I got big plans for things after Labor Day. I've been wanting to get some shots of a few of the great signs I see everyday here in GR. I don't think I'm alone in my sign fetish. I love neon in particular. Apparently, the neon sign is something of an endangered species. While being very efficient, there is a certain level of craftsmanship in the making of a neon sign that has a price, and more and more, it's a price that folks aren't paying. The September Atlantic has a nice history.
The low point for neon came in 1982, when Holiday Inn did away with its signature “Great Sign,” replacing the neon extravaganza with a forgettable green plastic box. Of the thousands of Holiday Inn signs that once shone on America’s highways, only one remains to be seen, in the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan. What good taste and aggressive regulation couldn’t squelch, corporate image making did. Out went lighted tubes, and in came bright plastic signs or, a bit later, individual plastic letters discreetly illuminated by internal neon tubes.
I must admit that it's the ageing decay of most of the great neon signs, their impending anachronism, that is part of their appeal for me. I fear that soon they will all be gone in favor of wonderless plastic.



If you'd like to contribute to the fund to buy me a replacement for my broken, non-zooming digital Kodak, I'll accept any denominations in currency of your choice. Next it's night shots.

1 Comments:

Blogger Laba said...

We still have one Arby's with an old neon sign here in Ann Arbor. I should photograph it for you.

9:01 AM  

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